The Gender Health Gap: Why is Women’s Health a Mystery?
People don’t like to talk about women’s health. Whether it’s period problems, IBS, fertility, or even sexual health- people stay hush-hush. This stigma can make women too embarrassed to seek help.
What’s worse? This problem also affects the medical profession. In fact, the lack of research into women’s health is called the Gender Health Gap. And many women will have suffered from a missed diagnosis or a lack of understanding when they have seen a healthcare professional.
The field of medicine was designed by men for men. This means that is a lack of knowledge about conditions that only affect women such as endometriosis and thus care is not as good as it should be.
At Zemedy, we want to be part of the solution. We want to empower women and girls to gain certainty about their bodies and health. Your health should not be a mystery! With IBS affecting twice as many men as women- we know that this is an important mission.
In honour of Mother’s Day, we decided there is no better time than now to start tackling these taboos! We have some great tips to help improve women’s health at any age. If you don’t identify as female, you can still benefit from knowing how to help the women in your life. Since women’s health is everyone’s business!
5 tips to improve female health
1. Self-love practices
As women, sometimes we are quite self-critical. We may look down on our bodies or not quite appreciate how amazing we really are. Low self-esteem and confidence can affect both our mental and physical health. That’s why it is important to make time to really appreciate yourself and tackle your self-doubts. Taking care of yourself, allows you to be the best version of yourself and then you can help others. Key factors which may help your self-love journey include becoming body positive and creating boundaries that help you feel in control.
2. Love your gut
Your gut is a crucial part of your overall health and a healthy gut has been linked to preventing many life-threatening illnesses including diabetes and heart disease. In particular, a healthy gut microbiome filled with lots of good bacteria has lots of positive implications for your health. Researchers have only recently learnt about how important the gut is. It may even have implications on your mental health as the gut-brain axis is a powerful connection considered to be a second brain! To find out more check out 10 ways to hack the gut-brain axis.
To love your gut, it is important to feed it with lots of tasty goodies containing lots of fibre. In fact, some fibre-rich foods are called prebiotics and they can help boost your gut microbiome. Other ways to feed the good bacteria include eating probiotics that come enriched with good bacteria. Examples include kefir, kimchi and kombucha. Start loving your gut with our 10 recipes to treat yourself with.
3. Take care of your sexual health
When it comes to our sexual health, there can be lots of taboos. Whether it’s dealing with vaginal discharge or the effects of menopause - it is important to take control and engage in self-care. This may mean making sure to book in for your smear test or to talk to your doctor about the benefits of HRT. Since there is lots of misinformation about sexual health it is important to use reputable sources like the NHS website or to speak to a qualified health care professional. But whatever your needs, don’t be shy when it comes to taking care of your sexual health.
4. Get moving and grooving
Movement is a great way to boost your mental health and it also supercharges your physical health. At Zemedy we are huge fans of low-intensity exercise because this has been proven to help with IBS. This includes yoga, pilates and gentle swimming. But it doesn’t matter what gets you moving as long as you’re getting some regular physical activity. Trying to make it part of your daily or weekly routine so you can have long-term benefits. Check out the top 4 best exercises for IBS to find something which works for you.
5. Share your voice
There is good news: the gender health gap is being addressed: The Women’s Health Strategy is calling for women and girls in the UK to share their opinion and experiences of accessing healthcare services in the UK. Whether it is maternity services, menopause, or fertility- you can have your say and this will be used to help change healthcare for the future. Partners and friends are also welcome to share their experiences- so that everyone can help improve women’s health. Make your voice heard at: https://consultations.dhsc.gov.uk/talkwomenshealth
In a nutshell
Health inequalities exist due to a lack of research into women’s health. This affects the gut in particular. However, things are changing and it is important women get their voices heard so that this change can benefit everyone. Zemedy has created a full guide to the Gut Gender Health Gap so you can get the facts on how IBS affects women differently.